Man arrested after being found in air duct

He made it in, but his escape wasn’t such a breeze.

Police say they arrested a man for theft Sunday morning after finding him in an air duct in the Emporium Mall downtown.

River Eugene Parrish, 23, was arrested after a business owner reported a person attempting to break in on the roof shortly after 11 a .m., said Lt. Krag Campbell of Juneau Police Department in a news release.

“It’s unknown whether he was trying to hide or trying to get out,” Campbell said in a phone interview. “I think he might have been using the air ducts to move around.”

Parrish was located inside an air duct, which he refused to come out of, according to JPD. After approximately an hour, officers were able to persuade him to leave, and he was taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

“The officers knew who he was and were able establish a rapport and talk to him,” Campbell said. “I think they’re still looking at surveillance footage to see how long he was in the business.”

An investigation showed the suspect had entered from the roof, according to JPD. Officers are still ascertaining how he got onto the roof, Campbell said, but it might have been accessed from a back alley or a neighboring building. About $1,500 in merchandise and store equipment had been stolen from a business and roughly $1,000 in damage was done to the interior of the building, Campbell said. The damage to the interior building came from where Parrish made a hole in the sheetrock to gain access to a business, Campbell said.

[Man faces a dozen new charges]

Most of the merchandise was recovered, but a computer’s hard drive is still missing, Campbell said.

An investigation into whether other stores were broken into and how long he was inside is ongoing, according to Campbell.

Parrish was charged with two counts of felony second-degree burglary, felony third-degree criminal mischief, felony second-degree theft and violating conditions of release, Campbell said.

He’s being held without bail at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

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